Birmingham’s newest ‘Billion Pound Bank’

Birmingham’s newest ‘Billion Pound Bank’

Al Rayan Bank, the independent wholly Sharia compliant bank headquartered in Birmingham, has become a ‘Billion Pound Bank’.

The company made the announcement last month as the value of its retail and commercial assets surpassed £1bn for the first time.

The bank has seen its retail and commercial asset book grow by 400% over the last three years, with 47.7% of this coming in the last 12 months alone.

This success has been fuelled by major asset growth across three of its main business lines: retail, commercial and private banking.

"We are delighted that the value of the bank’s retail and commercial asset book has surpassed £1bn for the first time," said Sultan Choudhury, CEO of Al Rayan Bank.

"The bank’s recent progress validates the strategic growth plan which was put in place following its takeover by MAR in 2014.

"This is a substantial milestone and an important step in the long-term objective to establish Al Rayan Bank as an enduring European banking brand."

Al Rayan Bank is a wholly Sharia compliant bank, founded on faith-based, ethical principles which are derived from trade, entrepreneurship and risk-sharing, in which the customer and bank work together as partners towards a mutually profitable end.

So what is ‘Islamic banking’? Islamic banking operates without interest (known as ‘riba’), which is not permitted in Islam. And the source of its funding, profit and business investments cannot be in, or from, companies which deal in interest, gambling, pornography, speculation, tobacco or other commodities contrary to Islamic values.

Instead, the principal means of Islamic finance are based on trading, with any risk involved in trading activity. Any gains from that trading are then shared between the person providing the capital and the person providing the expertise.

The bank serves retail, business and premier customers throughout the UK and has earned a reputation for providing innovative products which appeal to people of any faith.

Al Rayan’s success is yet another shot in the arm for Birmingham’s buoyant financial sector, which will also welcome the arrival of HSBC’s new ring-fenced city centre headquarters next year.

Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, said: "Al Rayan Bank’s retail and commercial asset value surpassing the £1bn benchmark is fantastic news.

"Al Rayan Bank is an important asset to the city, and just one example of the world-class institutions and strong pedigree of financial services companies that exist here.

"Birmingham’s financial and professional services sector is the UK’s largest and fastest growing outside the capital, contributing £15bn annually.

"The region’s talented workforce and its investment in infrastructure is supporting the continued growth of companies like Al Rayan and Deutsche Bank – as well as HSBC, which will have the head office of its new ring-fenced bank fully operational in Birmingham by 2018."